"The more reason why you should avoid a public investigation."
“But you don’t deceive me. You imitate your friend’s diplomacy. I hate diplomacy. It means fraud and cowardice. Don’t you think I know him? The gentleman with the cross of white ribbon on his breast? I know the Marquis d’Harmonville perfectly. You see to what good purpose your ingenuity has been expended.”
As that lady truthfully says, a man is never so happy as when he is talking about himself. From Otis Yeere’s lips Mrs. Hauksbee, before long, learned everything that she wished to know about the subject of her experiment: learned what manner of life he had led in what she vaguely called ‘those awful cholera districts’; learned, too, but this knowledge came later, what manner of life he had purposed to lead and what dreams he had dreamed in the year of grace ‘77, before the reality had knocked the heart out of him. Very pleasant are the shady bridle-paths round Prospect Hill for the telling of such confidences.
Yes — he had certainly been courageous. There was in him, in spite of his weaknesses and his vacillations, a streak of moral heroism that perhaps only waited its hour . . . But hitherto his principle had always been that the missionary must win converts by kindness, by tolerance, and by the example of a blameless life.
On the other hand, in such animals as have a bladder, and whose lung contains blood, the spleen is watery, both for the reason already mentioned, and also because the left side of the body is more watery and colder than the right. For each of two contraries has been so placed as to go together with that which is akin to it in another pair of contraries. Thus right and left, hot and cold, are pairs of contraries; and right is conjoined with hot, after the manner described, and left with cold.
The lady went on.
There was a pause. My companion began to fiddle a littleuncomfortably with an ash-tray. I wondered what was the matter,and then it came to me. We were about to become sordid. Thediscussion of terms was upon us.
"I may be a wolf but this is not my night to howl."
Perchance never in the history of the Carolinas has there at any one time so much of true bravery been shown as we saw then when the only discontent was because one was more favored than another in the permission to offer his life as a sacrifice.
“A jest. It was nothing . . . ”
“Commend me to the piety of a young fellow and a damsel that consult to elope!” said Bianca. “No, no, Madam, my Lady Isabella is of another guess mould than you take her for. She used indeed to sigh and lift up her eyes in your company, because she knows you are a saint; but when your back was turned—”
"--tinople," added the man briskly. "A stranger here?"
Rebecca's idea of being a painter like her friendMiss Ross was gradually receding, owing to theapparently insuperable difficulties in securing anyinstruction. Her aunt Miranda saw no wisdom incultivating such a talent, and could not conceive thatany money could ever be earned by its exercise,"Hand painted pictures" were held in little esteemin Riverboro, where the cheerful chromo or thedignified steel engraving were respected and valued.
Mrs Linde. Yes, I go up very slowly; I can't manage stairs well.
Lady Sandgate’s approval was more qualified. “But on view, dear Theign, how?”
There is something pitiful in this episode, and something really touching in the sight of a delicate and superior genius obliged to concern himself with such paltry undertakings. The simple fact was that for a man attempting at that time in America to live by his pen, there were no larger openings; and to live at all Hawthorne had, as the phrase is, to make himself small. This cost him less, moreover, than it would have cost a more copious and strenuous genius, for his modesty was evidently extreme, and I doubt whether he had any very ardent consciousness of rare talent. He went back to Salem, and from this tranquil standpoint, in the spring of 1837, he watched the first volume of his Twice-Told Tales come into the world. He had by this time been living some ten years of his manhood in Salem, and an American commentator may be excused for feeling the desire to construct, from the very scanty material that offers itself, a slight picture of his life there. I have quoted his own allusions to its dulness and blankness, but I confess that these observations serve rather to quicken than to depress my curiosity. A biographer has of necessity a relish for detail; his business is to multiply points of characterisation. Mr. Lathrop tells us that our author “had little communication with even the members of his family. Frequently his meals were brought and left at his locked door, and it was not often that the four inmates of the old Herbert Street mansion met in family circle. He never read his stories aloud to his mother and sisters. . . . It was the custom in this household for the several members to remain very much by themselves; the three ladies were perhaps nearly as rigorous recluses as himself, and, speaking of the isolation which reigned among them, Hawthorne once said, ‘We do not even live at our house!’” It is added that he was not in the habit of going to church. This is not a lively picture, nor is that other sketch of his daily habits much more exhilarating, in which Mr. Lathrop affirms that though the statement that for several years “he never saw the sun” is entirely an error, yet it is true that he stirred little abroad all day and “seldom chose to walk in the town except at night.” In the dusky hours he took walks of many miles along the coast, or else wandered about the sleeping streets of Salem. These were his pastimes, and these were apparently his most intimate occasions of contact with life. Life, on such occasions, was not very exuberant, as any one will reflect who has been acquainted with the physiognomy of a small New England town after nine o’clock in the evening. Hawthorne, however, was an inveterate observer of small things, and he found a field for fancy among the most trivial accidents. There could be no better example of this happy faculty than the little paper entitled “Night Sketches,” included among the Twice-Told Tales. This small dissertation is about nothing at all, and to call attention to it is almost to overrate its importance. This fact is equally true, indeed, of a great many of its companions, which give even the most appreciative critic a singular feeling of his own indiscretion — almost of his own cruelty. They are so light, so slight, so tenderly trivial, that simply to mention them is to put them in a false position. The author’s claim for them is barely audible, even to the most acute listener. They are things to take or to leave — to enjoy, but not to talk about. Not to read them would be to do them an injustice (to read them is essentially to relish them), but to bring the machinery of criticism to bear upon them would be to do them a still greater wrong. I must remember, however, that to carry this principle too far would be to endanger the general validity of the present little work — a consummation which it can only be my desire to avert. Therefore it is that I think it permissible to remark that in Hawthorne, the whole class of little descriptive effusions directed upon common things, to which these just-mentioned Night Sketches belong, have a greater charm than there is any warrant for in their substance. The charm is made up of the spontaneity, the personal quality, of the fancy that plays through them, its mingled simplicity and subtlety, its purity and its bonhomie. The Night Sketches are simply the light, familiar record of a walk under an umbrella, at the end of a long, dull, rainy day, through the sloppy, ill-paved streets of a country town, where the rare gas-lamps twinkle in the large puddles, and the blue jars in the druggist’s window shine through the vulgar drizzle. One would say that the inspiration of such a theme could have had no great force, and such doubtless was the case; but out of the Salem puddles, nevertheless, springs, flower-like, a charming and natural piece of prose.详情 ➢
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